Bob Thompson Live at the Five Spot

June 13, 2015 - July 11, 2015

East Wing

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Bob Thompson


Untitled (Rivington St. sketchbook)
1965
felt tip pen on paper
14 x 11 inches

Bob Thompson

Untitled (Rivington St. Sketchbook: Sonny Rollins)
c. 1964-65
black felt tip pen on paper
14 x 11 inches

Bob Thompson

Untitled (Rivington St. Sketchbook)
1965
felt tip pen on paper
11 x 14 inches

Bob Thompson

Untitled (Rivington St. Sketchbook)
1965
felt tip pen and graphite on paper
11 x 14 inches

Installation view

Bob Thompson

Untitled (Keystone Sketchbook: Jazz Messengers)
1964
felt tip pen on paper
8 7/8 x 11 7/8 inches

Bob Thompson

Untitled (Keystone Sketchbook: Lee Morgan)
1964
felt tip pen on paper
11 7/8 x 8 7/8 inches

Bob Thompson

Untitled (San Calista Sketchbook: Enrico Rava)
1966
ink on paper
9 1/2 x 12 7/8 inches
inscribed, dated and signed bottom center: Enrico Rava/ Milane [sic]/ B Thompson

Bob Thompson

Untitled (San Calista Sketchbook: Milford Graves)
1966
ink on paper
12 7/8 x 9 1/2 inches

Installation view

Bob Thompson

Untitled (San Calista Sketchbook)
1966
felt tip pen on paper
12 7/8 x 9 1/2 inches

Bob Thompson

Art Blakey (Keystone Sketchbook)
1964
felt tip pen on two sheets of paper
11 7/8 x 8 7/8 inches
titled, inscribed, dated and signed on lower right of second sheet: Art/ Blakey/ N.Y. 64/ B Thompson

Bob Thompson

Untitled (Beverly Sketchbook: Ornette at the Five Spot)
1960
felt tip pen on paper
17 x 14 inches
Inscribed, signed and dated bottom center: Ornette at the Five Spot/ Bob Thompson `60)

Bob Thompson

Charlie Parker Waiting in the Wings
c. 1965
pastel, pencil, and watercolor on paper
12 x 16 inches
signed and inscribed lower right: For Jane/ My Girl/ Love B Thompson

Press Release

Opening: Saturday, June 13, 6:00-8:00pm

CHICAGO— In the East Wing, CvsD is proud to present Live at the Five Spot , an exhibition of newly discovered drawings by the artist Bob Thompson. In the years leading up to his untimely death in 1966, Thompson was a habitué of downtown New York’s underground jazz clubs, where he watched the great innovators of free jazz, including Ornette Coleman and Milford Graves, as well as the towering figures of post-bop and hard-bop, including Sonny Rollins and Art Blakey. Himself an amateur drummer, Thompson was one of the most admired young figurative painters of his era, and he was friendly with many of these musicians. His masterwork “The Garden of Music” (a 12-foot wide canvas in the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum) depicts all of these players. Organized in collaboration with Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, who represents the Thompson Estate, this exhibition unveils sizzling linear portraits of Blakey, Rollins, Graves, trumpeter Enrico Rava, and Coleman, the latter drawn during the saxophonist’s legendary 1960 run at the Five Spot Café. A single painterly watercolor, more akin to Thompson’s canvases, is titled “Charlie Parker Waits in the Wings.”

Live at the Five Spot is accompanied by a full-color catalog featuring images of all the drawings.